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Esoteric Healing - Chapter V - The Process of Restitution
Factors Confronting the Withdrawing Soul

In physical death, therefore, and in the act of restitution, the withdrawing soul has to deal with the following factors:

  1. The physical elemental, the integrated and coordinated life of the physical body, which is forever seeking to hold together under the attractive forces of all its component parts and their mutual interaction. This force works through a number of minor centers.
  2. The etheric vehicle, which has a powerful coordinated life of its own, expressed through the seven [465] major centers which react under astral, mental and soul impulsive energy. It works also through certain of the minor centers which are not dedicated to a response to that aspect of the man's equipment which H.P.B. states is not a principle - the dense physical mechanism.

The minor centers are therefore to be found existing in two groups: Those responsive to the life of dense matter, to the mother aspect, and which are definitely upon the involutionary arc; these are an inheritance from the previous solar system wherein the entire man was controlled via these minor centers, with only a very few of the major centers dimly indicated in the case of initiates and advanced disciples of that time; secondly, those centers which are responsive to energies reaching them via the major centers; these then come under the control of the astral body and the mental apparatus. You will see consequently why, earlier in this treatise, I made the following reference to the minor centers. It might be of interest to you, nevertheless, to be told where the twenty-one minor centers are to be found. They can be located at the following points:

  1. There are two in front of the ears, close to where the jaw bones are connected.
  2. There are two just above the two breasts.
  3. There is one where the breast bone connects, close to the thyroid gland. This, with the two breast centers, makes a triangle of force.
  4. There are two, one each in the palms of the hands.
  5. There are two, one each in the soles of the feet.
  6. There are two, just behind the eyes.
  7. There are two, also, connected with the gonads.
  8. There is one close to the liver. [466]
  9. There is one connected with the stomach; it is related, therefore, to the solar plexus, but is not identical with it.
  10. There are two connected with the spleen. These form one center in reality, but such a center is formed by the two being superimposed one on the other.
  11. There are two - one at the back of each knee.
  12. There is one powerful center which is closely connected with the vagus nerve. This is most potent and is regarded by some schools of occultism as a major center; it is not in the spine, but is no great distance from the thymus gland.
  13. There is one which is close to the solar plexus, and relates it to the center at the base of the spine, thus making a triangle of the sacral center, the solar plexus, and the center at the base of the spine.

The two triangles referred to in this tabulation are of real importance. One is above and the other below the diaphragm.

Again, the death process can be seen as a dual activity and one which primarily concerns the etheric body. There is first of all the collecting and the withdrawing of the etheric substance, so that it no longer interpenetrates the dense physical organism, and its subsequent densification (a word I deliberately choose) in that area of the etheric body which has always surrounded, but not penetrated, the dense vehicle. This has been sometimes erroneously called the health aura, and it can be photographed more easily and successfully during the process of dying than at any other time, owing to the accumulation of the withdrawn forces for several inches external to the tangible body. It is at this point in the experience of the withdrawing soul that the "word of death" is spoken, and it is prior to this [467] enunciation of this word that a return to physical living can be possible and the withdrawn etheric forces can again interpenetrate the body. Relationship with all the withdrawn forces is, up to this point, retained via the head or the heart or the solar plexus, as well as via the two minor chest centers.

All this time the consciousness of the dying man is focused in either the emotional (or astral) body or the mental vehicle, according to the point in evolution. He is not unconscious as the onlooker might infer, but is fully aware within himself of what is occurring. If he is strongly focused on physical plane life, and if that is the dominating desire of which he is the most aware, he may then intensify the conflict; you will then have the physical elemental battling furiously for existence, the desire nature fighting to retard the processes of death, and the soul, intent upon the work of abstraction and of restitution. This can and frequently does occasion a struggle which is quite apparent to the onlookers. As the race of men progresses and develops, this triple struggle will become much rarer; desire for physical plane existence will not appear so attractive, and the activity of the astral body will die out.

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